Reluctance to Reading: Identify the Issue
We want our children to read. Much of their educational experience will depend on how well they master reading, but there is a huge difference between struggling to learn how to read, and not enjoying it.
Don’t confuse reluctance to read with struggling to learn how.
If your child struggles to learn how to read, of course he is reluctant. You may need to back off. Definitely back off if he is under seven years old. Remember how we discussed the development of eye sight and other hindrances to learning to read? Continue reading aloud to him, but stop forcing him to perform. He isn’t ready. If he is still striving unsuccessfully as a nine year old, it may be time to seek more help.
Don’t confuse reluctance to read with a rebellious attitude.
This happens too often. The child is not fighting against reading, he’s fighting against you. No new way of presenting reading is going to fix that. You can find the best books in the world, but if the problem is relational, then the solution must focus on behavior. Be careful with this one. If the difficulty truly is one of defiance, then you’ll see it in more than just his attitude toward reading. Fix the behavior, and the problems with reading will disappear. Don’t fix the behavior and the problems with reading will increase.
Don’t confuse reluctance to read with the need for movement.
This seems obvious, but it is often overlooked. What is your child’s natural rhythm? Does he wake up slowly or ready to go? Does he have an ebb and flow to his energy level? If he’s expected to sit still every day at a time when his natural make-up says, “Move, move, move,” then it isn’t reading he’s avoiding, it’s sitting still. You want to read hanging upside down from a tree branch? Go ahead. You want to read on the rocking horse or while kicking your feet in the air? Why not? It isn’t only preschoolers who have excess energy. Consider if adding or allowing movement during the reading time might help your child enjoy it more.
Gracious Father, we bow before you and praise your name for you are holy and righteous. You alone are worthy of adoration. Please forgive us our sins and lead us away from temptation. Protect us from evil. As we teach your children, grant us wisdom to discern what is best for them and how to respond to them. Open our hearts to follow only you. Thank you for leading us and loving us. We come to you because of Jesus.